The problems continue for ESPN, except this time it’s the radio network that’s been affected. One month after announcing lineup changes which would begin in January, a key member involved in those plans has announced he’s not planning to stick around.
Ryen Russillo, who had been with ESPN Radio for over a decade, and who had been hosting weekdays 1p-4p ET and was expected to shift to afternoons 3p-6p ET with Will Cain, has decided not to resign with the company. An official statement has been released regarding the unexpected change.
Russillo said today on his program that he will finish out the week before turning afternoons over to Will Cain. The plan was to initially announce the news on Monday but due to the John Skipper story it was pushed back. Russillo said that he was offered a new deal by ESPN but chose to turn it down citing a change in time slots, a neutral compensation offer and a lack of happiness with his current career direction leading him to question where he was headed at this point in his career.
Additionally, Ryen shared that he’s excited by the idea of moving to California to pursue opportunities as a writer of television shows. He mentioned that he’s gone thru the pitch process before and learned from it and this is a professional itch he’s wanted to scratch for a long period of time and although the decision comes with risk, he’s ready to take the leap and chase a dream.
Contractually Russillo is committed to ESPN thru next August. As a result he will continue to produce a weekly podcast for the company until then. Any plans beyond next summer have yet to be revealed but you can expect a few broadcast companies to come calling when Ryen officially becomes a free agent.